It's choice, not chance, that determines your destiny

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June 14, 2010

The good, the bad, and the ugly

It started out to be a beautiful day in The Yukon.
And then-

Frost heaves. I have learned to give due respect to road signs and orange flags warning of what’s ahead. Of course that’s not always the case. Sometimes you don’t receive any warning at all before your motor home heaves and rolls at the same time you’re trying to dodge pot holes and the deep groves from a road that’s built on perma frost. Sometimes you even get a little construction and gravel thrown into the mix. All this while it’s raining (think mud) and you have today on the road! The 200 miles from Burwash Landing takes us about 8 hours to complete.

Pay attention to this sign!

and these flags

heaves and rolls

and ruts

and potholes

and construction

equals 8 hours to get to Alaska!

All goes fairly well considering – until we reach the Yukon-Alaska border. We pull in to the turnout to mark the occasion with a picture of the “Welcome to Alaska” sign.

That’s when we notice dad’s base plate is NOT attached to his tow car any longer! The only reason the car was still there at all was that it was barely holding on by a bolt on the driver’s side. After this incident we heard a story or two about those that have driven over that road, losing their cars altogether and never finding them again! I guess you could say dad was one of the lucky ones!

After a head scratch or two he ties what’s left of the tow bar to the engine with rope, washes the mud off the car and then mom gets to drive it into Tok. But first we get to wait in line at the border crossing.

They asked a few more questions than they did to get into Canada but all went fairly well. I forgot to tell them about the Yukon beer that I bought in Whitehorse! Thank goodness for mom that the road improved considerably for the last 90 miles into Tok. It was nice to see miles and gallons instead of kilometers and liters! And the gas was less expensive, but not the camping fees. Win some, lose some!

So we pay for two nights here in Tok because tomorrow dad heads into town to see about getting the tow bar reattached and the car damage fixed. I’ve been told that the last stretch of road we drove on is as bad as it’s going to get. (Famous last words!)

Today I will wash the filth off my motor home. I could pay $15 to wash it myself at the wash station or I could just quietly hook up my hose at the campsite and do it here. No soap of course and I’ll conserve on the water but $15? They brag that for that price you’re not monitored on the water usage but it still wouldn’t be worth it for my little 24 footer. Most of the time I’ve just been using a spray bottle and my rag to wash it. Today, however I need to get some of the mud hosed off first!

Oh, and speaking of Frost Heaves, did I tell you what happened the day before yesterday? We had another bumpy ride (just a warning of what’s to come) driving into Burwash Landing and my Yukon Beer? Well, it fell off the dinette bench seat (I know – stupid to put it up there in the first place) and landed with a crash on to the floor. Yes, broken bottles and foaming beer rising up to meet my nostrils. Cooper looking at me like “now what?” I can’t keep driving so I pull over to the side of the road, pick up the broken glass, roll up the sopping rug, mop up what I can of the beer and then drive to the nearest rest area so I can dispose of the glass and try to clean the carpet. Now the motor home reeks of beer! I try to wash everything in Burwash Landing but with a town of only 88 people, do you think anyone actually works? Even though they have a Laundromat, none of the machines work and there isn’t anyone, and I mean no one to ask. Town consists of the Laundromat and one other building, which is locked up tight without lights on. So I lug everything back to the motor home and throw it into the bathtub. First thing I did in Tok was the laundry! Oh, the little mishaps of owning a house on wheels!

I may walk into town later to see what’s happening. I still need to get the oil changed – maybe I can get a better price quote than I did in Whitehorse. It’s started out to be a beautiful day but I hear the weather’s about to change so guess I’d better get busy. At least I gained an hour of time yesterday and I have cell phone service! No broadband for the computer though, unless I want to pay roaming charges – so I walk to the lodge to hook up to very slow Wi-Fi Internet. They have a nice room to chill out in with table, chairs, sofa, recliners (even a bar that opens at 4pm) and soft Frank Sinatra music over the television!

do da da go hv i (pronounced doe-dah-dah-go-huh-ee)
Translated: "Til we meet again" in Native American.


  1. It is so fun to go on your adventure with you. Its like watching a really good movie. Thank you for taking the time to write your blog. Sandy from Idaho.

  2. Hi Sandy! Thanks for the comment! It's been a wonderful trip so far - I would recommend it!